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Comparing states on flu shot coverage

A CDC report shows how your state compares to other states in vaccination coverage for last year’s flu season.

For “State-Specific Influenza Vaccination Coverage,” [1] Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, June 10, the CDC analyzed data collected from September 2010 to March 2011 from 43 states and DC.

Last year’s flu season was unusual for two reasons, reports the CDC:

  1. I it followed the 2009 influenza A pandemic (H1N1) season
  2. It was the first season the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommended influenza vaccination of all persons six months or more of age

Influenza vaccination coverage last year was comparable to the 2009 pandemic year, 42.8% to 41.3%, according to the report.

States in which flu shot coverage was above 50% include:

  1. Hawaii (53.3%)
  2. Rhode (Island 53.1%)
  3. Massachusetts (51.6%)
  4. Minnesota (51.4%)
  5. Iowa (50.4%)

States with the lowest flu shot coverage, below 40%, were:

  1. Alaska (34.8%)
  2. Florida (36.6%)
  3. Mississippi (36.6%)
  4. Idaho (37.6%)
  5. Illinois (37.6%)

The report, which also breaks down vaccination coverage by age, notes that last year immunization among “Hispanic and non-Hispanic black children increased by 11–12 percentage points from 2009–10 levels.”

The good news, according to the CDC, is the sustaining of influenza vaccination rates since the 2009 pandemic.

The cautionary news is that there is still much to accomplish to reach the Healthy People 2020 targets of 80% for persons aged 6 months to 64 years, and 90% for adults 18 to 64 years old with high-risk conditions and adults 65 years and over, the report concludes.